Hank Williams Jr.'s iconic song has been played for Monday Night Football since 1989. Well that came to a screeching halt last week when ESPN decided to part ways with ole Hank after some rather controversial remarks concerning President Obama and a comparison to Adolf Hitler.
Yes, in the age of political correctness, the vast swarming PC has infiltrated our beloved sport, the NFL, all because Williams, who is a republican, said some rather stupid things.
Regardless of political affiliation, this is ludicrous.
Before too long, the NFL will be banning the national anthem for being too patriotic, after all, fans of other nationalities do watch football.
Well, maybe to not that extreme, but you get the idea.
The iconic "Are you ready for some football" song has become part of the NFL. But as soon as the guy who sings it says something stupid, that's it. Can't have any tolerance.
Ever hear of something called a second chance?
ESPN's Tony Kornheizer was suspended in 2010 after making remarks concerning fellow ESPN personality Hannah Storm's clothes on that day, yet he was allowed to come back after a temporary suspension.
By ESPN's logic, it's okay to verbally degrade someone, yet you can't make a comment and exercise free speech about a public official, regardless of how ignorant and stupid the comment might be.
According to an AP report, the decision came from Williams last Thursday morning.
"After reading hundreds of emails, I have made MY decision," Williams said in a statement to the Associated Press. "By pulling my opening Oct. 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It's been a great run."
But ESPN's statement said: "We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."
Did Williams say something stupid? Yes.
Being as famous as he is, Williams is subject to the public arena and all that ensues with the ravenous critics, and for his comments, he should be picked apart by both sports analysts and political pundits.
But taking his song from the spotlight football game of the week is akin to removing "take me out to the ball" game away from every baseball game. You just don't do it.
When something becomes so integrated with the program, it shouldn't be tampered with.
Despite Williams' comments, he does have a few defenders who are no strangers to controversial comments themselves.
Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar both, despite their difference of political opinion from the conservative-minded Williams, came out in his defense.
"Those among us who are without sin, cast the first stone," Goldberg said.
Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.
Chris Siers is the Times-Gazette sports editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.